Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Peter W. Kunhardt Jr. ’05 co-edits Gordon Parks: Collected Works

Peter W. Kunhardt Jr. ’05Gordon Parks: Collected WorksGordon Parks is recognized as one of the most important African American photographers of the 20th century and is noted for combining artistic style with commentary on the human condition. Peter W. Kunhardt Jr. ’05, who majored in art history at Wheaton, had the pleasure of knowing Gordon Parks and is now the executive director of the Gordon Parks Foundation, a division of the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation. Kunhardt has spent the past two years serving as co-editor with Paul Roth of the Corcoran Gallery of Art to produce Gordon Parks: Collected Works, published by Steidl in Gottingen, Germany. A New York Times article about the work of Parks referred to the collection, saying that it “reveals the depth of his talent and his mastery of the photo essay form.” The five-volume collection features five decades of Parks’s photography (many of the images have never been published before), as well as essays by Henry Louis Gates Jr. Deborah Willis, Maurice Berger and others. The New York Times article also made note of Kunhardt’s forward in volume I and included his words in the story. Kunhardt also wrote an article for the Huffington Post about his experiences with the photographer: “Gordon Parks was a friend to my family for more than forty years. He was a colleague of my grandfather, Phil Kunhardt, at LIFE Magazine, and a glowing presence in my home as a child. I remember his jokes, his pipe, his stylish clothes—and the way he could relate to anyone, young and old. His genius, I think, was based on a respect and trust he brought to the people and issues that he photographed. He spent much time with his subjects, sometimes even living with them—often in the harshest conditions.”

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